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Gonzales Hearing


What a dismaying spectacle! Right after 9/11 I wrote a piece against

which people still quote back at me. I was writing about torture, though:
“Rubber truncheons? Electrodes? Pliers? Razor blades? Blocks of ice? Not in
my name, no.” I don’t want fingernails pulled out, flesh sliced, electrodes
applied, or systematic beatings. But wet towels? Sleep deprivation? A
whack with a nightstick? (That’s what nightsticks are F-O-R.) A kick to
get a stubborn hard case into his cell? None of those is torture, and it is
shameful and dishonest to say they are. And the Gonzalez, er, interrogators
are going much further than that. If we don’t give a terrorist cable TV
and Nautilus machines, and food for his goldfish, we’re “torturing” him?
Does anyone in that room have a clue how the world’s dirty work is done?
The Abu Ghraib shenanigans (a) were not torture in any sense I understand,
and (b) had nothing to do with interrogation. They are, therefore,
perfectly irrelevant. What a farrago of nonsense!


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